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The bodies of 18 people, 5 of them crew members of the aircraft, were burned. The incident occurred at dawn on Tuesday.
The dead are the five crew of the plane and 13 civilians, said Farooq Butt, spokesman for the rescue services, which reported a dozen injured.
“The bodies are calcined, which prevents identification. All were taken to the military hospital for DNA analysis,” he added.
The accident occurred at night in a poor town on the outskirts of the city of Rawalpindi, where the headquarters of the powerful Pakistani army is located. The area was quickly cordoned off by security forces, while dozens of ambulances arrived at the site.
The Armed Forces said in a statement that it was a training plane carrying out a “routine training mission” at the time of the accident, and confirmed that there were five crew members on board, two of them pilots. The injured were taken to hospitals and the fire was stifled.
A column of smoke was still rising from the wreckage and the broken homes. Parts of the plane could be seen on a nearby roof.
A crowd of inhabitants concentrated on the place, some of them crying, like an old man with a white beard and a bandaged torso, Kala Khan, who shouted “Oh, my son! My son!”, While other inhabitants tried comfort him for the death of his son in the accident.
A resident said that the accident occurred around two in the morning.
“I was sleeping when the noise of a huge explosion woke me up. I left my house and saw huge flames. We ran to the place, people were screaming,” said Mohamad Sadiq, a neighbor in the area of about 50 years.
“The locals tried to help them, but the flames were too high and the fire too intense, so we couldn’t do anything. Among the dead there are seven members of the same family and most died from burns.”
“I woke up when the plane passed over my room and I was already on fire in the air. The noise was terrifying,” said another resident, Ghulam Khan. “Then he fell on a house where a family lived,” he added.
Pakistan recorded several aviation accidents in recent years, both of planes and helicopters.
In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane was engulfed in flames after one of its two turboprops failed while traveling from a remote area of northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.
The deadliest aerial catastrophe on Pakistani soil was in 2010, when an Airbus 321 operated by the private company Airblue that had taken off from Karachi crashed into hills outside Islamabad, with a balance of 152 dead.